Sarah Steward has had a wide-ranging career in marketing and business development, holding executive and non-executive positions in the private, public, and third sectors. She graduated from Cambridge University in 1981 and spent her early career with Procter & Gamble, Price Waterhouse and Sage Group plc. From there she became increasingly involved in regional development projects, holding a diverse range of non-executive roles, including Chair of Beamish Development Trust and Deputy Chair of Tyne and International Centre for Life. She served as Chief Executive of the Newcastle Gateshead Initiative 2010-19 (a tourism, inward investment and major events agency) and as a member of Visit England Advisory Board and North Area Council of Arts.
Sarah is currently Chair of Governors at Gateshead College alongside roles with Beamish Museum, Newcastle Cathedral and Newcastle University. She was awarded an OBE for services to the North East economy in 2016. From 2020 to 2021 she was High Sheriff of Tyne & Wear, and was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Tyne & Wear in 2020.